Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Says 'Nobody Knew' the Depths of Bandmate Chester Bennington's Depression

Chester Bennington died in July 2017 by suicide. He was 41.

From anger to confusion, Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda recalls the emotions he felt after losing bandmate Chester Bennington in 2017.

During a recent episode of SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, the Linkin Park co-founder said losing Bennington to suicide led to a dark time and a roller coaster of emotions.

"There were points where I felt that way ... and that's natural," he tells Stern of feeling angry.

Bennington died on July 20, 2017 from suicide. He was 41. Just five months prior to his death, the Linkin Park frontman opened up about his depression in a Waking Up Dad podcast. Still, Shinoda says those closest to Bennington were unaware of the severity.

"Nobody knew the depths of it," says Shinoda before revealing why his life as an outsider allowed him to relate so well with Bennington. "Let's go back to the beginning when I met Chester. I didn't know his stories. As I got to know him, I would find myself oftentimes saying, 'I've never heard such a crazy upbringing, such a crazy childhood.' Like, running wild in the streets and doing hard drugs on the roof of his high school, just like barely staying out of jail. That's what made our dynamic what it was. I didn't live like that. I felt like I was an outsider because I was a mixed-race kid that didn’t have a community to belong to. I'm half Japanese. I don't speak Japanese. I don't look Japanese. The white kids thought I was, obviously not white. The Latino kids were, like, starting to speak to me in Spanish; I didn't speak any Spanish. I was always floating around and I didn't have a home ...He was outside because he was scrawny, he was like picked on, he was bullied all the time."

Shinoda -- who also tells Stern he wrote the band's classic song, "In The End," in just one night -- fondly remembers Bennington's musical ability thanks, in large part, to his unique, and often never duplicated, voice.

"He was born for this," he says. "I feel like him singing vocals on albums and on stage was as happy as it got. Like, that was as good as it f**king got. So I always feel good about that."

Around six months after his death, Shinoda released three intimate solo songs that dealt with the grief he was feeling. He announced the Post Traumatic EP on Twitter, describing in a hand-written note to fans that he shared on social media and his website that the six months since the Linkin Park frontman committed suicide had been a "roller coaster."

"Amidst the chaos, I’ve started to feel an intense gratitude--for your tributes and messages of support, for the career you have allowed me to have, and for the simple opportunity to create," the 46-year-old musician wrote at the time. "Today, I’m sharing three songs I wrote and produced, with visuals that I filmed, painted, and edited myself. At its core, grief is a personal, intimate experience. As such, this is not Linkin Park, nor is it Fort Minor--it’s just me."

"Art has always been the place I go when I need to sort through the complexity and confusion of the road ahead," he concluded. "I don’t know where this path goes, but I’m grateful I get to share it with you."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.